Downstream - Interdisciplinary Outdoor Workshop

a wide river is shown on a winter day with olive green grassy banks and brown shrubbery on either side. The water reflects a blue grey cloudy sky. A small graphic showing an orange and red newt is placed in the bottom right hand corner. 

An interdisciplinary workshop exploring sound and ecology in Woodhouse Washlands.

Devised and hosted by artist duo, a place of their own, this interdisciplinary event, as part of the Wet / Land / Dwellers project, will explore sonic and ecological histories and imaginaries of the Woodhouse Washlands on the border of Sheffield and Rotherham. 

 
The event brings together sound artist Gary Stewart, ecologist Dr Phillip Warren and the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust to explore different relations, connections and interdependencies of these watery lands and those that dwell there, human and non-human. 
 
The  whole workshop will take place outdoors and will involve a walk across Woodhouse Washlands. Participants will have the opportunity to record sound as they walk. No previous experience needed.  This event is aimed at ages 13+. Young people under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult.
 
This event is free but please book a ticket here.
 
ACCESS: The workshop takes place outdoors, at Woodhouse Washlands which is only accessible in some parts for wheelchair users. Paths are likely to be muddy. We advise getting in touch with us to request more information on routes for wheelchair users. Please note there are no toilets or parking on site.
 
For further information on the meet point, please see Eventbrite via the link above or if you have a ticket, check your emails.
 
EXTRAS: We advise wearing suitable warm, waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear in case of rain and likely muddy paths. 
 
We are taking extra precautions to manage the risk of COVID-19.
We ask everyone attending this event to bring a mask, and wear if stepping indoors at the start of the event. We are limiting capacity to enable social distancing. We ask everyone attending this event to take a Lateral Flow Test on the day of the event.  
 
Please note: If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 such as sore throat, continuous headache, dry cough, runny nose, loss of taste of smell, or high temperature, or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please do not attend. We want to keep everyone as safe as possible. 
 
WET / LAND / DWELLERS
Wetlands are complex, environmentally important, ecosystems, and their loss inextricably connects legacies of colonial expansion with current environmental challenges. Up to 75% of the world’s wetlands are now lost, and so is the rich biodiversity that inhabits them as well as the histories that they carry.
 
Situated across Shire Brook Valley and Woodhouse Washlands in South Yorkshire, Wet / Lands / Dwellers brings together communities, scientists, environmentalists and artists to interrogate the specificities of these sites through a critical spatial art practice. Find out more about Wet / Land Dwellers.  
 
The Wet / Land  / Dwellers project seeks partly to raise awareness of the global destruction of wetlands. World Wetlands Day 2022 is on the 2nd February. Please see more info here. 
 
The Wet / Land  / Dwellers project acknowledges that wetland destruction is fundamentally connected to global racial capitalism and settler colonialism. One contemporary example of struggles against these forms of violence is the Unist’ot’en Camp and the larger Wet’suwet’en Nation who are, in their words, “standing up to the Canadian government and corporations who continue colonial violence against Indigenous people”, taking action to protect their lands from the establishment of new pipelines and from new fracturing projects. Please see more on their struggle here.
 
A more in depth discussion of those issues will be explored through a future event in Sheffield in February. Sign up to Arts Catalyst newsletter to hear more.
 
A place of their own is an experimental contemporary art and spatial practice, conceived by artist duo Paula McCloskey and Sam Vardy, that investigates contemporary conditions and create new spaces, imaginaries and subjectivities. Based in Sheffield, UK and Ballyshannon, Ireland, together they make performances, spatial interventions and audio-visual art and research. Their projects explore the transformative potential of art and spatial practice to suggest other worlds yet to become.
 
Gary Stewart is an artist concerned with social and political issues, particularly with reference to history, identity and culture, working across sound, moving image and performance. Collective practice is key to his work using experimental media practices and technologies to explore the unique spaces emerging in public spaces, art galleries and museums formed by the shifting intersections and blurred boundaries between audiences, authorship and participation. Currently Lecturer in Fine Art (Studio Practice) at Goldsmiths, University of London, he is a founder member of interdisciplinary artist, research and performance group Dubmorphology and Artist Associate at People's Palace Projects based in the Drama Department of Queen Mary University of London working with activists and academics on projects that address a wide range of social justice and human rights issues.
 
Philip Warren is an ecologist with particular interests in freshwaters and the way these are influenced by the landscapes, and histories of the landscapes, that surround and connect them. He has taught and researched ecology at University of Sheffield for 30 years and is interested in exploring different ways of communicating ideas about nature and environmental issues, and our part in both.